Using a celebrity to promote a cause is nothing new. However, it’s dangerous when celebrities promote organizations that do more harm than good (in this case for global hunger and animals). Recently, we came across a commercial in which Alton Brown of the Food Network is enthusiastically promoting Heifer International.
This particular commercial entitled, “Where’s My Goat?” makes several egregious claims that I will break down here: he first exaggerates the benefits by claiming that this goat gift will be the equivalent of helping a family start a small business. He does so in his Alton Brown-esque tone, claiming the wool, clothes, milk and eggs from the goat and will build income for the family. Goat eggs? Not only income, but this gift of a goat will help the family have a “sustainable livelihood.” He then goes on to say that the baby goat will soon make other baby goats and the offspring can be passed on to other families.
Unfortunately, many parts of the world where dairy goats and cows are sent have a large incidence of lactose intolerance, and animal products are often not part of the country’s diet. Promoting the increased consumption of animal products is harmful for global hunger, public health and the environment. See more about the complexities of hunger on our website.
A quick look into Heifer’s website and we see that part of their mission is to “end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.” We at A Well-Fed World have a very similar mission although our strategies for achieving these goals are far different. To cultivate a society where no one is hungry and malnourished, we need to move away from a diet based on animal products. See more on our website about The Dark Side of Heifer.
It is increasingly common knowledge that raising animals to be slaughtered for food is inherently inefficient. The consumption of these products has created one of the most unhealthy generations in history and is devastating our planet. With this information tied into the beliefs that animals are not commodities to be bought and sold, we can save both people and animals by sending plant-based food to children and families and supporting plant-based agriculture for ongoing, sustainable food security.
To put these solutions into practice for the Holidays, we have launched a new campaign, Feed More International, as a direct alternative for those who want to feed people in need without exploiting animals. Find out more and help us help others.